Published: Tue, May 08, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Italy's president aims to break the post-election impasse

Italy's president aims to break the post-election impasse

"Markets are going to take a hit if we go for July elections and another two months without knowing whether we get a government or not", said Erik Jones, professor of global political economy at the Johns Hopkins University in Bologna.

The country has been stuck with a hung parliament since the 4 March ballot, which saw anti-establishment 5-Star emerge as the biggest single group, while an alliance cobbled together from a number of rightist parties including the anti-immigrant League took the most seats.

Speaking after a third round of unsuccessful consultations since Italy's general election in March, Mattarella made clear that his hopes of reaching a deal on a coalition government were over.

The leader of Italy's far-right League, Matteo Salvini, has asked the president for a mandate to try to form a government, he said on Monday. "We trust that the president will give us the chance to find a majority in parliament", Salvini told reporters after meeting President Sergio Mattarella.

Lina Palmerini, an analyst at the business daily Il Sole 24 Ore, said Mattarella has few options, warning: "If parliament rejects the president's government, the situation will be very hard".

The only major political force to support Mattarella's idea was acting leader of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), whose acting leader Maurizio Martina echoed "the president's call for responsibility".

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However in key moments we simply weren't as efficient as we have been this 12 months", he explains. We have a young team, lots of legs, lots of positive desire to do well.

"I continue to aim at a government that is fully operational and that could fully represent Italy for the important decisions it needs to take in Europe", Mattarella said after Monday's last-ditch round of talks.

Mattarella didn't propose any names for the "neutral" government, but he stressed that its leaders wouldn't be allowed to run in the election next year.

The League's leader Matteo Salvini has so far refused to split with Berlusconi.

But the League, whose coalition includes Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia party, remains at loggerheads with M5S over the flamboyant former prime minister's possible role.

Luigi Di Maio, head of the anti-establishment party, declared the campaign open with president Sergio Mattarella still considering one last attempt to break a two-month deadlock with a technocratic government.

The populist Five Star Movement and the anti-migrant League immediately said they would not back a caretaker government and called for new elections on July 8.

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